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Messages - SofiyA

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General Writing Resources / How to keep a reading journal
« on: December 01, 2010, 11:10:56 PM »
Dear all,
this a document that provides helpful hints on how to keep a reading journal. - helpful web site
In my grade school we were required to keep a reading journal. We also were asked to illustrate our summaries of the books we read. It was a lot of work, but fun. In addition to this, keeping the journal in combination with the reading list (we had a reading list of compulsory summer reads, semester reads) makes you read a lot! You can definitely adjust the amount and level of the books as well as the amount of the entries in the reading journal to your students' level. :notworthy

Theory / Article about anxiety and foreign language leaning
« on: December 01, 2010, 11:00:20 PM »
This article is not about reading theory, but I thought it is an interesting read and might be useful for students. It is strangely encouraging to know that you are not alone  in experiencing anxiety in a foreign language classroom.
Here is some pre-view:
“Probably the most revealing statement made by anxious students is that they feel more tense and nervous in a foreign language class than in any of their other classes,” says Horwitz. “Since there’s a consistent negative correlation between anxiety and academic performance, it’s very important for students to get a handle on their fears and for teachers to be aware of this problem and make the classroom as non-threatening as possible.”

General Writing Resources / Environmental argumantative essay topics
« on: December 01, 2010, 10:53:26 PM »
Hi there,
here is a web site that suggests some topics for pro- environment argumentative essays.
Please let your students submit an electronic copy of this one :-)
Go green!

General Reading Links / Bible in different languages
« on: November 30, 2010, 12:38:58 AM »
Hi there,
I found this great web site with the Bible translation in different languages. It has several English versions plus audio.
I realize that not everybody is willing to use a religious text in their lessons, but I do think there is time and place for this. If your students are interested in the topic, it might serve as a great reading source.

General Reading Links / The paper boy
« on: November 16, 2010, 10:25:19 AM »
Hi there,
here is one wonderful web site that allows you to read articles from various maagzines from around the world!
It is free :-)

Vocabulary / Re: Make Your Own Crossword Puzzle
« on: November 16, 2010, 10:01:57 AM »
These two posts are great! Thank you, Carleen and Andy. I made one for my students, yay! :notworthy

Vocabulary / for nerds :-) and others :-)
« on: November 11, 2010, 10:44:48 AM »
How many words did Shakespeare know?

Vocabulary / vocabulary games for kids
« on: November 11, 2010, 10:34:24 AM »
Hi there,
it is for kids, but for all of us who love visuals, it is awesome!

Summary & Paraphrase / Favorite books
« on: November 09, 2010, 10:53:47 AM »
I think it might be interesting to ask your students write a one page summary of their favorite book. Then they can work in pairs, presenting the summary to their partner. Students can discuss the summary, asking additional questions about the book.
If it is an ESL setting, it will enable students to learn about different writers from all over the world.
If it is an EFL setting, they will learn about their partners' literary tastes.
In both cases, the activity will demonstrate how important is it to write a good summary.

Motivation / Re: Reading outside of class
« on: November 09, 2010, 10:35:56 AM »
I did the same thing for my students and they really liked it.
This semester,I took both of my groups I teach to the university library on an arranged tour with a librarian. It went really well! Students learned about amazing resources that the library has and how much help they can receive from the librarians. Magazines, journals, fiction books - you name it!
Hurray for the librarians and libraries!  :bluestar :notworthy :bluestar

Grammar - Error Correction / Re: Printable Worksheets and Games for Grammar
« on: November 09, 2010, 09:49:14 AM »
Looks very interesting!  :notworthy

Technology and Teaching Reading & Writing / Re: Powerpoint game templates
« on: November 09, 2010, 09:44:59 AM »
It is especially useful for people like me, who do not necessarily love spending all theit time trying out new technology (okay, ppt is not new, I know that :-)) Thaks for sharing! :bluestar

Awesome! I think that using short films as well as any technology makes your students see you more advanced and not as old as they think 30 is :-)

General Reading Links /
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:36:56 PM »
This looks like an interesting web site for teachers by teachers, a lot of international exchange of experiences.
It has a list of interesting blogs and a lot of stuff :-)

Pedagogy Issues / Writing - an article from
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:26:33 PM »
hi there,
interesting article about writing and an easy read. Enjoy.

General Reading Links / Horoscopes for learning English
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:19:58 PM »
this link gives some examples on how to use horoscopes for teaching modal verbs. I think horoscopes can be used for teaching character traits and generally speaking can provide you with some fun reading.
And this wab site is uk, so it must be good. Right, Andy? ;D

General Writing Resources / Touch type on-line practice
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:14:24 PM »
hi there,
this web  site has a nice set of lessons on touch-typing.
(I will probably keep on pecking :-( )

Motivation / What is the most efficient way to motivate students for you?
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:06:41 PM »
Dear all,
a quick poll to see what the general situation in the field of "tricks to motivate my students" is.
Thank you for your time and effort!

General Reading Links / Movie scripts web site
« on: November 07, 2010, 06:57:11 PM »
Hi there, is a web site that has free movie scripts. I found thst it is difficult to follow the movie dialogues, especially for the beginners. I guess it is possible to use movie script before watching the movie - as a pre-watching reading activity, pre-teaching/teaching vocabulary. During the movie - let the students check phrases that they did not catch (I wonder how disruptive it woudl be for the ones that could catch more.) After watching the movie, students can read the script and see how much they missed or misunderstood. Oen could also use a movie scripts as a sample, inspiration for writing a script for the class movie - shoot it, post on youtube, watch, enjoy,yay!  8)

Motivation / Get parents involved - letter to parents
« on: November 04, 2010, 11:57:55 PM »
I asked my students in our language class to write a Haiku poem about fall.We also decorated sheets of paper with the leaves they brought to class (we used them for an activity to learn the names of the trees). I brought envelopes and stamps (you can have it sent by the department too) and we sent the letters to their parents.
Out of nine students' parents, only one parent did not like this idea (too childish). The rest of the parents were very touched, some even cried.
I think it was a nice and creative way of working with new vocabulary and writing. Do not assume that all of your students know how to address an envelope :-)

General Writing Resources / Purdue online learning lab
« on: November 04, 2010, 11:42:45 PM »
I believe that Purdue OWL has been mentioned on the forum multiple times :-)
This is a link to the exercises - this one is on punctuation.They also provide the answers, yay!

Learning L2 Reading & Writing / Learning every day...
« on: November 04, 2010, 11:38:15 PM »
I have been learning languages all my life and I love it! It is difficult, it is demanding, it is exesperating,but it is fun :-) I have been learning English for 15 years and hardly a day goes by without encountering a new word. I do not think it will ever stop... :o
I am very envious of my son (okay,very proud too),who four years ago could not say a word in English,but now speaks the language better than me, and without an accent!  :angryred2
Morale - teach your kids at an early age :-) and never stop learning! :-)
One rarely learns the language without  learning about the culture of the country.What can be better than that?  :?don'tknow

Descriptive Writing / Describing appearance
« on: November 04, 2010, 05:23:28 PM »
If you a student in our University, you probably receive CRIME report from time to time. This e-mail informs you about what happened, and gives the reported description of the criminals. Moreover, sometimes there is a link to their portraits as well.
I think it is great authentic material to show your students different descriptions used in the police reports.

The offender is described as a white male, approximately 6 feet to 6 feet
2 inches tall, weighing between 170 and 200 pounds with short brown
hair.  The offender was wearing a white t-shirt possibly with a
basketball jersey over the t-shirt and blue basketball shorts.
The New Yorker has a lot of descriptions too. If you go over a couple of issues, you will collect a nice pool of authentic, interesting ways to describe people.

You two are awesome, both published authors, yay  :bluestar :notworthy :bluestar :notworthy :bluestar :notworthy
I am glad there is this forum where I can feel published too :-)
Speaking about books in the classroom, I think it would be cool to make a book with the students using their poetry/ fiction and illustrations as well.
I still remember (20 something years later) the project we had to do for our language class. Our teacher made us choose objects and write a fairy-tale about it. We also had to illustrate the fairy-tale and make it into a book (folded sheets of paper,sewn together (yeah, before staples made it to my country)). It was great fun and made a beautiful childhood memory and gave me the material for the post :-)

Textbook, Website, etc. Reviews / Re: Online Student Weekly
« on: November 02, 2010, 09:54:04 AM »
Good one! Short, interesting, will definitely use it in my classes!
You are a  :bluestar !

Textbook, Website, etc. Reviews / Re: ESL Teacher Blog
« on: November 02, 2010, 09:43:51 AM »
Looks very interesting! Thanks!
Speaking about blogs, I have started a blog with and for my students. This is a safe place for them to write, it is not graded but required. I sometimes post a saying,proverb and ask them to comment on it and each other's postings. It is new for them and not all of them love it, but soem of the students are really excited about the idea.
Carleen, you are a  :redstar !

Technology and Teaching Reading & Writing /
« on: October 26, 2010, 09:39:33 AM »
Dear all,
check out this great web site This is a FREE gift from the Carnegie Mellon University. It can be used for so many things...reading,storytelling, and 3D programming!

General Reading Links / Many things
« on: October 21, 2010, 11:50:10 AM »
Hi all,
This is a link to a great web site for ESL learners and teachers!
Here is what they have - Learn English with Obama - weekly addresses, isn't it cool? :-)  - listen and read along, you can see the text as well!
and much much more!

Learning L2 Reading & Writing / Re: Reading in my 3rd language
« on: October 21, 2010, 10:08:12 AM »
I can't agree more. I took Spanish last semester and it was a reaaally interesting experience. I think every language teacher should be required to take a language course once every two years.It gives you an opportunity to observe a teacher and see what is worth implementing in your own class and what is not (couldn't help it!) and it gives you an insight into what your students might be going through in your class.

General Writing Resources / boustrophedon
« on: October 14, 2010, 11:26:25 AM »
  This is a Word of the day from Merriam -Webster's Word of the Day. I found it interesting! I think you can use it in class for generating a discussion about different writing practices.By the way, there is an ESL Word of the Day as well. It is free, one e-email a day with a new word. Enjoy!     Word of the Day      October 14
  :    the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions (as from left to right and from right to left)
      The archaeologist was quick to see that the text was written in boustrophedon.     "Some writing systems, like the ancient Greeks' boustrophedon, in which alternate lines are read in opposite directions, appear to actually support these pre-literary inclinations." — From an article in The Economist (U.S. Edition), July 10, 2010
      Before the standardization of writing from left to right, ancient Greek inscribers once used a style called "boustrophedon," a word meaning literally "turning like oxen in plowing." When they came to the end of a line, the ancient Greeks simply started the next line immediately below the last letter, writing the letters and words in the opposite direction, and thus following the analogy of oxen plowing left to right, then right to left. "Reverse boustrophedon" writing has also been found in which the inscribers turned the document 180 degrees before starting a new line so that the words are always read left to right with every half turn. The word "boustrophedon" itself is formed from the Greek word for the ox or cow, "bous," and the verb "strephein," which means "to turn."     Quick Quiz: What "strephein" descendent means "a great disaster or misfortune"? The answer is …

Hi everybody,

a colleague shared this idea with me. It is called Stop.Start.Continue. The idea is to get a students' feedback without preparing a questionnaire and hopefully tap into information that you would not have asked because you did not think it is relevant/important.
Teachers writes on the board:



Students copy and elaborate on what they would like to STOP doing in the class, START doing and finally CONTINUE doing. As obvious as it might seem, I would recommend mentioning to your students  that you probably will not be able to change everything according to their suggestions.
Hope you will enjoy it!

Vocabulary / Re: vocabulary myths
« on: September 30, 2010, 10:13:05 AM »
Hi there,

my "favourite" myth is about the monolingual dictionary. Yeah, it is great way to expand one's vocabulary, but at the very beginners' level a monolingual dictionary might be very frustrating.

I requested a copy of the book (Vocabulary Myths)and it is waiting for me today! YAY!

Using Literature / Re: Skim Read Run Race!!
« on: September 23, 2010, 09:47:33 AM »
Andy, I like this activity a lot. This is what schools need to introduce - more physical activities, like running, jumping, stomping their feet. I also think it will work with older students as well. In one of my classes, I used a "stomp your foot if the information you hear is not correct." Students read the text about Thanksgiving traditions in the USA and discussed it for about 5 minutes. After that, I read the text to them, changing some words, substituting "turkey" with "goose", or "sweet potatoes" with "frozen potatoes". Their task was to stomp their feet if they heard a substitution. They loved it!

Getting to Know You Activities / Re: Clap your hands & snap your fingers
« on: September 21, 2010, 10:26:18 AM »
Sounds like fun!

I used to use this happy song "If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands!"

it keeps student energized and happy :-)

P.S. it is also good for If+Present Simple Tense practice.

Adult Literacy / Re: Chicken soup for the soul
« on: September 21, 2010, 10:00:04 AM »
What I like about the series is that it has a range of different topics. Chicken Soup for Teachers, Chiken Soup for teenagers and so on.
You can try to encourage your students to submit their own stories and mayby they will just get published!!!!

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